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Does WikiLeaks make a positive or negative contribution?

  1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
    Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago

    Here is a list from the latest issue of The Nation of a number of interesting revelations culled from media reports on WikiLeaks's leaks:

    -The Saudis, our allies, are among the leading funders of international terroism.

    -The scale of corruption in Afghanistan tops even the worst estimates. President Hamid Karzai regularly releases major drug dealers who have political connections. His half-brother is a major drug operator.

    -The Pentagon basically lied to the public in downplaying sectarian violence in Iraq. Our military handed over many detainees they know would be tortured to the Iraqis. US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of torture and abuse by Iraqi police and military.

    -After the release of the Iraq logs, new tallies put the number of documented civilian casualties there at more than 100,000. The Afghanistan logs similarly showed many more civilians killed there than previously known, along with once-secret US assassination missions against insurgents.

    -The British government assured Washington that our interests would be protected in its "independent" public inquiry into the Iraq War.

    -The Pakistani government has allowed its intelligence unit to hold strategy sessions with the Taliban. Despite longstanding denials, the US has indeed been conducting special ops inside Pakistan and taking part in joint operations with the Pakistanis.

    -The Yemenis have lied to their own people, taking credit for air attacks on militants in that country--but it was the US that did the job. The Yemeni president gave us an "open door" to combat terrorism. Washington has secretly shipped arms to the Saudis for use in Yemen.

    -The Saudis, contrary to their public statements, want us to bomb Iran. So do some other countries in the region, or so they say in private.

    -Our State Department asked our diplomats at the United Nations to spy on others, including the secretary general, even aiming to retrieve credit card numbers.

    -At last we got to read in full the historic 1990 memo from US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War.

    -The Obama administration worked with Republicans to protect Bush officials who faced a criminal investigation in Spain for alleged torture.

    -Pope Benedict XVI impeded an investigation into alleged child sex abuse withing the Catholic Church in Ireland.

    -Bribery and corruption mark the Boeing versus Airbus battle for plane sales. "United States diplomats were acting like marketing agents, offering deals to heads of state and airline executives whose decisions could be influenced by price, performance and, as with all finicky customers with plenty to spend, "perks," the New York Times reported early this month.

    -Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.

    -US diplomats have been searching for countries that will take Guantanamo detainees, often bargaining with them ; the receiving country might get a one-on-one meeting with Obama or some other perk.

    -Among several startling revelations about control of nuclear supplies: highly enriched uranium has been waiting in Pakistan for more than three years for removal by an American team.

    -The British have trained a Bangladeshi paramilitary force that human rights organizations consider a "government death squad."

    "The revelations go on and on; for a longer list, see Joshua Norman's report on CBS News (cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-200226591-503543.html. As the many key issues surrounding WikiLeaks are debated, we must recognize what we would have missed without the 2010 "document dumps."...

    Greg Mitichell in The Nation, January 31, 2011.

    1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think suppression of truth is nearly always Tyrannical in nature.  Of course I allow for military secrecy, so long as it's to protect troops, I do not approve of covering up crimes or unethical practices under any circumstances.

    2. tony0724 profile image60
      tony0724posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Ralph it may shock you to know that I really like Assange bringing all of these trangressions to the light of day.And I hope that it continues . There are many others trying to assemble websites like Wikileaks now and I hope they are successful In a world of modern media where we get spin instead of news I feel Assange is the only true journalist out there.And maybe we can actually start holding officials worldwide accountable for their actions.

    3. Evan G Rogers profile image83
      Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      and people call Libertarians "loony"...

    4. tritrain profile image76
      tritrainposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That's pretty remarkable stuff. 

      I still don't care for these people that released this information and feel they should be punished.

  2. jokeapptv profile image60
    jokeapptvposted 5 years ago

    im not sure yet  ..but since they started releasing stuff
    looks whats been going on?
    time will tell.
    Im am curious why they are soooooooo slow to release the Tv and celebrity tax info they got and the bank info?
    Why soo quiet on that?  they said it be out in 2 weeks
    sure seems slow.

    1. knolyourself profile image61
      knolyourselfposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Would think it would depend on whether one
      is a fascist or a democrat.

  3. Shadesbreath profile image91
    Shadesbreathposted 5 years ago

    This was all widely known before hand, so they haven't contributed anything new with this stuff at all. They just gave people who weren't paying attention, who still think the world is a simple Utopian meadow filled with unicorns and fairies, or who are just dumb a jolt of reality. The only thing that WikiLeaks has changed is that now the U.S. will multiply its efforts at secrecy a thousandfold, and the number of people who have access and security clearences will be reduced.

    After 911, everyone screamed that the U.S. agencies didn't share information well, didn't make it available accross the system. So, based on that one event, they did open communication up. WikiLeaks was able to exploit that. So now, we will have to stop sharing as much. The world is too complicated, humanity too flawed for a fat and simple public to reckon with. More people will die because of this closing down of information, but at least WikiLeaks got to get their name in the headlines for a while and gave "the people" the illusion of empowerment.

  4. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    As someone said the Internet is akin to the invention of the printing press. Information controlled by the few to information for the masses. It is a battle of information, and now becoming
    a battle for the Internet, because information controls. The Internet for the first time is shutdown nationwide in Egypt. Legislation is being introduced.

  5. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
    Rajab Nsubugaposted 5 years ago

    I take it that what brought about the downfall of the USSR was the propaganda of the U.S.A. I think its time the U.S tested its own medicine.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image91
      Shadesbreathposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      So you're saying that Stalin didn't slaughter millions of people and that he was doing a great job, everyone was happy, and, were it not for the U.S. propaganda, everyone would be happy and living the high-life over there now?

      1. tony0724 profile image60
        tony0724posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry Shades you beat me to that point, I didn.t mean to be redundant.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image91
          Shadesbreathposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          No worries. The more the merrier on this glaringly obvious point. big_smile

      2. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
        Rajab Nsubugaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry for the late come-back. If you do agree with me, we are talking about the merits or demerits of wikileaks. And my argument is hellbent on this discussion. The U.S of A largely used the media to bring out the bad in the USSR. Whether or whether not these were facts, can be a debate for another day. All I am saying is that it paid dividends for the U.S. Wikileaks is only testing the honesty of our leaders in this case the leaders of the U.S.

    2. tony0724 profile image60
      tony0724posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think Stalin had a big hand in bringing down the USSR. And so are you saying that the USA is responsible for their rampant alcoholism too ?

      1. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
        Rajab Nsubugaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Largely, blame it on the weather. But on the other hand, how much does the U.S contribute to global warming?

  6. RDSPhD profile image79
    RDSPhDposted 5 years ago

    99.99% of people can't handle "the truth" and it's for their own security that certain things remain a secret... Our society works like that, you shouldn't try to change it or everything will fall apart (that's what wikileaks intends though - releasing documents that show weaknesses of buildings and factories in the U.S. and Europe making them an easy target for terrorism).

    But those documents on wikileaks released aren't really that secret (I've seen no documents that are in the higher levels of classification on the page) because the informations that really are dangerous are stored very secure and leakage of those documents will be prevented no matter what it takes.

    I think this Star Trek quote describes it best "It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
    I can understand that people want to uncover secrets, curiosity lies in our nature, but certain dangers need to be kept a secret to assure that the public can normally go on with their lives while experts take care of those problems.

    1. knolyourself profile image61
      knolyourselfposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      How does one know that danger is not just manufactured, to keep the people supporting
      the ghost busters, if the experts are all secret?

      1. RDSPhD profile image79
        RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Well many things you see in the News are just artificial. But the real dangers are things you don't know about.

        If you get access to secret informations you have to sign a pretty large contract listing all sorts of severe punishments if you violate it. And this is for real, not just a Hollywood scenario! A colleague of mine who is in a research team developing new technologies for all kinds of purposes had to sign a contract the size of a small book!. My former Physics professor now leads a department at the CERN, he also had to sign a contract agreeing to maintain absolute discretion and confidentiality  . This is of course mainly just to keep other nations from spying on newly developed technology but still, if such contracts are that common, one can only imagine what bigger secrets there are!

    2. nextstopjupiter profile image81
      nextstopjupiterposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Manipulation must be replaced by education, WikiLeaks is an important step in this direction.

      1. RDSPhD profile image79
        RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Suppose somebody would tell you that an extremely dangerous new virus is rapidly spreading all over the world and there's no cure yet. Would you still go to work every day and help maintaining the stability and daily routine that a country needs in order to exist? Or would you stay at home, be shocked and not knowing what's really going on? What if everybody knew - would someone be interested in going outside? Even if functioning electricity, water and food supplies require at least around 80% of a nations employees to go to work?

        Imagine how many threats alone to diseases there are on our planet, that nobody tells you about. Do you think it would be a good idea to make all that public ?

        1. nextstopjupiter profile image81
          nextstopjupiterposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, I think it would be a good idea to make such things public. What happened during the outbreak of the SARS virus some years ago? If the Chinese authorities would have made it public many lives could have been saved.

    3. Ralph Deeds profile image70
      Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      From what I've read some of the raw information in Assange's initial data release endangered the lives of of local Afghans and Iraqis who have cooperated with US/NATO forces. At first Assange disregarded warnings to that effect from the Guardian and other cooperating news organizations. However, he ultimately accepted their advice and began redacting names before releasing the data. So far there haven't been any reports of deaths of people whose names were released in Assange's initial data dumps.

      1. RDSPhD profile image79
        RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        But you think that informations like this are harmless to release ?

        Well I can accept wikileaks but Assange seems to be a bit of a hypocrite and liar who uses the fame he got from wikileaks by making everybody believe that there's "a large conspiracy" trying to blacken his name everytime he's accused of a crime.
        When the police report about his rapings leaked in december he was furious (oh irony!) when other newspapers stole some of his not yet released informations about 3-4 weeks ago he even threatened them and supposedly told them that those documents "belong to him".

        1. knolyourself profile image61
          knolyourselfposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          "a large conspiracy" trying to blacken his name every-time" ..."about his rapings". Those rapings were condom complications, either he didn't wear one or it broke.

          1. RDSPhD profile image79
            RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            well if you read the leaked police reports it certainly was a bit more than that

            It's also said that even more women went to the police when they heard of those "condom accidents" because they witnessed a similar scenario. Either he's sick or he's veery very unskilled with the use of condoms wink Would make a great condom-advertisement xD

            Sarcasm alert: Well but thank god it's only a conspiracy against him right? That's why Assanges victims don't want to go to the police because after testifying an angry mob tries to reveal your identity and to make your live as hard as possible, blackmailing and threatening you because you "touched Mister Untouchable Assange" -  a self-sacrificing warrior of the truth who would never commit a crime wink - And just remember, "no matter how he dies, it was murder" XD

            1. knolyourself profile image61
              knolyourselfposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Obviously you use different sources than I, we
              each according to our political leanings.
              Like Martin Luther to the Catholic Church, Assange is the biggest threat to the US empire ever and as we choose our sources
              the empire of course does what it will to choose theirs. Guess you haven't heard that the Assange  accusers  where groupies
              and bragged about their sexual exploits with
              him. Apparently it is all on-line. So while you
              see Assange as a bad guy I see it as character assassination.

              1. RDSPhD profile image79
                RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Well in fact I try to be neutral concerning the politics since I'm not a big fan of the U.S. nor of the "wikileaks followers".
                I know that they bragged about it, but even if, the report made clear that he has a bit a sick attitude towards sex.
                And you know that the usual reaction of rape victims (especially when raped by a famous person) is bragging about it. It's a normal mental reaction to the emotional shock and your body wants to make the most out of it because you cannot turn back the time. From a psychological state of view his victims clearly show that rape victim pattern - first not speaking about it and trying to repress it. Then bragging about it and finally as soon as they start to handle it and as soon as they have the strength to go to the police, they do (while it's also common that you would tell an excuse why you go to the media or police such as saying it's for the money or you just want him to be tested on AIDS).
                I know it might be different in this case but i've got a bad feeling about this. A class-mate of me was once raped by an average-famous singer many many years ago, it was a very similar case than this one, we had to talk about it in school with a psychiatrist because some of her friends couldn't really handle it (the psychiatrist also told us why she reacted happy about it in the first place and even bragged about the fact that she was raped by the singer and one of his colleagues after they made her drunk - and why she suddenly went to the police anyway). She had to leave school because everybody was always talking about it and reminded her of what happened and from what I've heard she still needs to take antidepressants (But I cannot tell since there were some rumors that she migrated to another country). She always seemed to be a nice girl, also trusted him and then was abused. He didn't confess and some of his "fans" (and his parents/family) threatened her afterwards, saying that she's just lying to receive money and fame. But we sent a card to her while she was in hospital, being treated against possible STD infections and because she didn't take the pill (that time it wasn't as common as of today) so it clearly happened.
                I know that this event changed my view of such rape cases. But if you look at the statistics every third woman on earth is raped at least once in her lifetime. That's just sick and people always look away, most women don't even tell anybody because their ashamed. Others don't view it as being raped because they blame themselves for having been naive and drunk (which is no excuse!), [btw. if we consider the later example as rape then I could say that I know a lot more "rape-cases", which is very sad since my friends from school always shared the belief that such cases are very normal and happen waay to often - most people also think of it as a trivial offense)

                Even if this just a hype, it happened. And we should probably let the police to their job, there will be enough expert's reports done to verify if the girls just did it for the fame. But even then Assange will still insist that it's all just a conspiracy and so will "his fans".
                Wikileaks might be a good idea and doing the right thing but I think such a platform should remain an anonymous platform and nobody should boast with it like Assange does.

                1. knolyourself profile image61
                  knolyourselfposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't much care about the personality of
                  Assange. Taking on the empire is suicide. Also is reported that one of these 'rape victims' works for a cia anti-castro front group and no police report was made for about a year I think until he released the Afghani cables.
                  And in another vein you would not be allowed to serve on a jury in a rape case in the US, since impartiality might be impaired by personal experience.

                  1. RDSPhD profile image79
                    RDSPhDposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Well thank god I live in a country that doesn't have a superannuated jury system where people with impaired impartiality get to decide on a persons future life. And frankly I don't think that anyone would check my background that much before I get to do jury duty - sad but true (talking about a country were people need to fill a form kindly asking them if they're terrorists or were involved in Nazi activities during WWII while traveling on the airplane).
                    But that's life, sometimes you get the bad guy, sometimes he's innocent and sometimes not. But who can really judge this ? Often it's only the accused who knows the truth. And if I were in a position like Assange I would certainly play the "it's a conspiracy"-joker as well.
                    But I think even the "empire" as you call it, wouldn't do such a bad job silencing Assange. If it really was a conspiracy by a Nation that powerful, he would have died in an accident before his Face was all over the news. Or at least they would put him in a "dungeon" for a more serious crime than rape. Russia, China even European countries can do such a great job when someone needs to be silenced (which doesn't necessarily involve killing but rather bribing if you look at officially published old secret service reports) , why should the U.S. do that poorly?
                    If you look at it that way it's even that bad of a job that it seems more reasonable to think China planned this whole "wikileaks" affair and did such a sloppy job on purpose just to lure the USA into destruction wink. Haha xD
                    C'mon a nation like the U.S. that has one of the best/greatest/largest most modern intelligence apparatus and more satellites and drones flying around than Sweden has inhabitants isn't able to stop this guy? I think people are just making conspiracy theories up while Assange sits at home laughing up his sleeve.

        2. Ralph Deeds profile image70
          Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          "But you think that informations like this are harmless to release ?"

          I don't know enough about the "biopharm" sites released to make a judgment one way or the other. Thusfar I'm not convinced that anything that has been published based on information from WikiLeaks has posed a serious threat to US security. However, I hasten to say that I don't pretend to know enough about the topic to make a firm judgment. My inclination is to err on the side of releasing more not less information. The US government is notorious for over-classifying information for the purpose of avoiding embarrassment to the administration in power.

  7. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    Anything anyone needs to know just ask me. I
    promise only that information tailored such it that will not scare anyone.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      You know, I was kind of thinking along those lines.  If everyone in the world would just read each of my hubs they would find all the information they will ever need.  Such as "how to make beautiful artwork by cutting the cheese". lol

      I would also be very happy.

  8. Mark Ewbie profile image84
    Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago

    I think it's really important to protect our democracy and freedom of speech that we close down anyone who releases secrets.  Although these weren't secrets were they?  I thought they were just emails. 

    I have a few secrets of my own.  Shall I tell you?

    Do you remember Colin Powell's speech at the UN about Iraq's WMD?  Before the speech he was much respected, a potential future president.  But he knew, that we knew, that he was lying.  Laughably so.  But he was told to do it, a reputation shot to pieces.

    Do you know that in the UK, not long before we signed up to bomb Irag back to the Stone Age (can't remember what idiot said that) - Blair ordered tanks to surround Heathrow airport?  Why?  To put pressure on for the War on Terror.

    Do you know who sold the gas to Saddam to gas the Kurds?

    But hey, let's worry about Assange.  He must be stopped.  Assassinated even according to some 'politicians'. A few emails are so important.

    Much more so than 500,000 dead Iraqies.

    What's important?  Not being found out.

    One small person (Assange) against some very corrupt politics - Obama, Clinton (dynasty), Bush (dynasty), Blair, and all the rest of the two faced lying little people of power.

    What's important?

  9. tony0724 profile image60
    tony0724posted 5 years ago

    60 Minutes is interviewing Assange right now.

  10. BobbiRant profile image79
    BobbiRantposted 5 years ago

    Truth is never a bad thing unless, of course, anyone enjoys living  lie.  As far as Egypt goes and the shutting down of the Internet, it just proves, when determined, people will still gather in groups to discuss what to do next. So legislation in America would do no good, people would return to the 'old fashioned' way of talking in person.  Informed people in a society scare government officials because they start to discuss it it's not right.  Egypt also roves that when enough people, in large throngs, are determined enough, there is not an army or a police force large enough to stop them.  If troops from outside jump into this fight it makes the outside country, including America if we get into it, look like tyrants.

  11. 60
    C.J. Wrightposted 5 years ago

    Wikileaks will make both a positive and negative contribution. First there is the issue of transparency. There is a level of honesty that must be present. If there was a healthy level of honesty between the government and the governed, wikileaks wouldn't exist. Because of wikileaks governments around the world will have to re-think how they communicate with their people. They will also have to re-think how they protect secrets. The problem is two fold, too many secrets and too little security.
    The negatives will not be as easy to attribute to the leaks. People will be connecting the dots from these leaks. Are they connecting the right dots? What will their actions be based on those decisions? Time will tell. Clearly the manner in which the data was attained is a negative. Clearly not every thing released should have been released. That is also a negative.

  12. Ralph Deeds profile image70
    Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago

    Julian Assange on 60 Minutes here:

    1. PhoenixV profile image80
      PhoenixVposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I just checked one of the stories leaked. The bombing of a nuclear plant in Syria. The story had already been reported 2 years ago by Der Spiegel. I just checked one.

      I feel that 60 minutes; just by doing an interview with assage(although I havent seen it) lends an air of credibility.

      Assange is no better than a "fence of stolen property". There's a difference between reporting the news and actively aiding hackers and those who would commit espionage. Assange isnt a qualified intelligence agency or a reputable "news source". He doesnt seem to have any standards or ethics. Just dump raw material, and if someone innocent gets killed, it's not his problem.

      Assange "preaches" an open society and open government yet advocates keeping any source secret, knowing full well that it's stolen classified property. He is more than willing to "protect the privacy of a thief" but doesnt want to extend that same courtesy to the lives he endangers.

      1. PhoenixV profile image80
        PhoenixVposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Furthermore, what is his goal? A more open and honest government or society?

        Open and honest?

        While he himself fights extradition and fences stolen classified material. I have yet to hear him denounce the cyber attacks aimed at private companies that at one time provided financial services to him.

        Yet he wants everyone else to be honest? LOL

        25 years from now I wouldnt be surprised to find out he was a lackey or patsy for some Intel Agency or some affluent busy body.

  13. DTR0005 profile image87
    DTR0005posted 5 years ago

    While I am typically all about the free flow of information, I have mixed feelings on Wikileaks. There is a fine line between whistleblowing and putting people, very real people at risk - whether they be American soldiers, diplomatic staff, or foreign informants. Some secrets just need to remain, well, secret - even in a very free and open society.

    1. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
      Rajab Nsubugaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Well, before anyone of us slaughters Assange; lets us be clear on what a "secret" is or ought to be. If you are ready to conceal information about mass murder in the disguise of "keeping a secret," then I would seek for another definition of  an "accomplice."

      1. DTR0005 profile image87
        DTR0005posted 5 years ago in reply to this